Sunday, August 28, 2016

It's Too Hot, Too Hot Lady

It was so hot today that I wouldn't even consider turning on one burner on that stove.  I wasn't feeling any of the take out food options even though we are doubly blessed around here.  The only choice was to make a platter of no-nitrate salami, carrots, olives, celery and hummus, tomatoes and cool watermelon.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Roast Chicken with Cilantro Avocado Sauce

I'm just gonna leave this one right here.
Quite proud of that little gal.
That sauce too, how it just sits all perky up on the chicken like that.
I'm just gonna be over here if you need me...not saying nothing.

But I don't know why this dinner just makes me so happy I just have to scream and shout about it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Enjoy Being a Girl

I wish I'd learn to treat myself to lively, witty female companions more often.  Melissa is a genuinely kind positive person and I really enjoy conversations with her.  She's a girl's girl.  A girl that surrounds herself with things other girls admire and recognize. She reads good books and keeps up on interesting trends  She's a girl for which one could easily buy sweet gifts.  And considerate.  She actually bought a CD for me to give to P.  She's a woman you call a girl, because she's positive and light.  I see things at work all the time and imagine them in her home, like cups with cats painted on them.

We were to see Teddy Thonpson at City Winery. I was just as excited about the show as the venue. A place I always wanted to go but didn't.  And they serve food. A nice person came and gave us a free sampler of wine. I was not down for a full on dinner but wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to sample the fare. On the appetizer menu was a flatbread that incidentally ate like a meal.  And because I never eat bread, (confession: this week alone I had it like five times), I ordered the warm pita with hummus and olives.  The waitress concurred there can never be too much bread.  I've convinced my conscience that good bread is just fine and probably good for me... here and there.  But my gut immediately reminds me that's a bunch of hooey as I feel my muffin top inflate.

Sometimes I wish I was a sane girl like Miss M instead of this half-rate aging, neurotic, female Woody Allen Sybil hybrid that I've become.
I enjoyed the show though.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Your Lips Move But I Can't Hear What You're Saying

Sausage and Peppers over Parmesan Polenta.  Something about the sweetness of the red peppers with the fresh basil and the tangy tomato broth really slapped me out of my Monday funk.
As always I've been deep listening like SETI for answers from the universe on the day to day.  So focused on receiving any kind of a signal.  Constantly searching for answers while not sure of the questions?  Today though, I realized I'm so tuned out to those that I'm actually in contact with each day.  Everyone at work knows what's going on in each other's lives and seem to really care. I feel I'm respecting and giving space by not asking anything, ever.  Even though I know one of my close coworkers struggles with her child, I wait until she wants to tell a story and then I mostly just listen.  When one of the young girls got engaged it was such a joyous moment for everyone but I felt so ill equipped to express any true emotion.   If I was perfectly honest, it just made me feel more distant.  Why do people even get engaged I thought?  And why would it make a coworker happy?  What the hell's wrong with me??  I'm like 'polar opposite girl'.   And whereas they seem to take solace in each other, I tend to like to play with the customer's instead like new cat toys full of nip.  
I don't try to be different and sometimes get real sad that I don't seem to relate well but now I'm just tired of trying.  Nothing makes sense because I'm super curious and love to ask intimate questions of people when given half a chance.  It is one of my obsessions.  Yet, I have all these subjects free and available all day each week and I just take a pass every time.  When someone does offer up exclusive stories I feel myself glazing over.  Dang, I just might be an asshole.  I always wondered if they were self aware.
Until I gather more data all I know is that I'm not winning any popularity contests in this lifetime.  But I will say this, when someone does comes my way that I can relate to, they get all that I have to offer....whether they deserve it or not.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pools of Sorry, Waves of Joy Are Drifting Through My Opened Mind

No grill.  Just a few chicken thighs baked in the oven to mock real BBQ chicken.  I love the look of this plate because of the colors and with the black rice, it almost seems unreal-.
Had another end of the world dream the other night.  I'm very lucky or not depending on how you feel about these things but I do have them quite frequently.  They're never the same but have similarities, always incredibly intense and powerful.  Something brilliant in the sky, like thousands of UFOs emerging suddenly, a bomb or nuclear explosion that I see with a thousand eyes at once.  And a deep knowing.  This time a black storm that came on so quickly and strong.  Rolling pitch black clouds that covered the sky within seconds. And again, I instantly knew that this was the end.  There is very limited time to acknowledge the doom in each case.  Instead, I fill up with a huge sense of love, understanding, sorrow and joy simultaneously. Endorphin's flood in and all these dormant senses finally become activated. I immediately think to praise God, actually feeling grateful for each speck of sunlight before passing. I would say dying but it doesn't feel like my end but surely an end just the same.  And unlike with my daily prayers, when I speak I feel a divine presence or energy engulfing me.  I don't feel alone.  The vividness that exists in these delusions is bigger than the reality I know.  All the triviality is missing from the world and that sticks with me long after waking.
That is probably what torments me.  The thought that if that does exists, then what is this?  Because this sure the hell ain't that.

But the day goes on, I get distracted with having to go to work or clean the litter box.  Life goes on, dinner needs to be eaten, chicken needs to be baked, rice doesn't boil itself lady.  And before you know it, I'm no longer dumbfounded pondering this glorious head trip.  These are just dreams where nothing is real.  Nothing to get hung about, says me never.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Taco Bowl

A warm and cold taco bowl and a full moon 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I Want to Be the One to Walk in the Sun

In a parallel universe I launched a successful business in cities across the US called Girly Pasta.  An idea for a franchise business that quickly took off and branched out into several locations.  Each with its own local flavor and offerings.  I work as a consultant to keep each of the sites organic and original.  This a place for girls to take their best bud or sister, pig out on pasta and chat.  It's fun and homey with cushy comfortable seating and candles, flowers and cats.  The space mocks an inviting living room since that's where most girls enjoy their plates at home.  Some even little separate themed areas to pick from.  One with a record player to play albums.  One a sunroom with lots of plants and light.  Another dark to watch a movie on a big screen TV while curled up on chaise lounges with complimentary throws.
Girls love their pasta and most have their go to recipes and special sauces, pastas for solitude, and ones for celebrating. There is fast spaghetti and nights where you hover over a pot for hours.  I have always loved meat sauce with mushrooms and onions, lots of garlic in a slow cooked spicy tomato sauce that hugs buttered noodles and no one will ever beat that.  But I also love fresh tomatoes and basil, lemon and garlic slivers slightly sauteed with good olive oil and Parmesan to finish.  And every pasta or zoodle dish in between.
It's a female thang.  Maybe it's the pasta that is girly.  It's pretty and thoughtful. It's friendly and light.  Large heaping wads of sunshine and freshness in a big bowl with grated cheese on top.
In a post-Trump disrespecting, lady hating world it's a nice thought to celebrate the girl.  The trusting, giving, sharing, sometimes sweet, smiling girl.  The Girl. The softer side of real women.  We know what's up.  We're not stupid.  We see all the dark.  We see the injustice.  We bleed, literally.  When you treat us like shit, it bothers us, a lot.  But we also see that in order to make it through there has to be some shine.  We know how important it is to laugh and be silly.  We still pass out smiles like single roses to strangers in need for free.
We deserved, along with so many other groups to get a better leader, someone who respects and advocates women and knows inherently that females are far more than a number or something to rate or grab at will.  But this just highlighted to me how everyday men in our lives need to step up as well.  They too have been a little void of acknowledging just how important and deserving females are to the big picture.  In general this year I just find myself sitting on story after story of friends, bosses, husbands, relatives, fathers, and brothers dropping the ball.  They really should all consider these tender mercies given them by the good women in their lives and to think... how have I responded in return?   Do you take the time to reach out?  Or do you stay selfishly withdrawn? Do you take your wife to dinner occasionally to show her how much you appreciate all those special meals she makes you most nights?  Do you sing her praises to a stranger even when she can't hear you?  Do you thank your granddaughter for her endless sacrifices?  Do you thank your sister for her deep concern and homemade soups?  Do you thank your daughter for her forgiving nature in letting you into her precious life that you don't deserve?   Do you consider how a small kind gesture goes a very long way?  That's all we really want.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Beware of the Handshake, That Hides the Snake

This soup was so refreshing and green.  It really bursts with the vibrancy of dill and summer.  I'm writing this at the end of November in what I notice is a trend.  Backdated posts from summer getting dealt with on cold dark rainy mornings months later.

I was thinking about liars today and just how twisty people can get.  Trump is such an interesting liar to study as he seems to be an exaggerated version of the normal sized asshole.  A prick of ridiculous girth. Yesterday I was reading where he is trying to mold reality by throwing down his own math logic.  He claims that he actually won the popular vote if you subtract the millions of people who voted illegally.  An allegation that is unprecedented and he backs with no facts.

That immediately reminded me of my very first introduction to truth shifting.  I was in 3rd grade and attending my hometown, neighborhood Catholic school.  All of us kids pretty much knew each other.  The classes were fairly small back then and most everyone had an older brother or sister, so families were familiar.  Not many newcomers but when there were, it was a big deal.  This year, The White family came to town.  Very interesting group.  Seemed like there were 7 or 8 of them.  Boys and girls of assorted sizes and all white haired blondes.  The oldest girl took all the boys by storm.  She never wore a real coat even in the bitter cold mornings.  She'd always appear late for the bus like walking off a commercial set.  Everyone's eyes fixed on her arrival. Combing her thin blonde hair and looking fabulous, tucking the comb in the back pocket of her tight blue jeans. She seemed to walk in slow motion.  Some said they were so poor she couldn't afford a coat.  She was genius then I thought, what a way to deflect your economical situation by wearing midriff tops and standing proud.  She had a body that the other girls were not gifted with yet and apparently a willingness to teach the local boys how to kiss in closets on the weekends.  She liked to stand on the bus. One day she stood by me and I studied her sturdy wrist and milky forearm with its fine white hairs.  She was like a young Marilyn Monroe.
But my nemesis would be her little sister, who's name now escapes me.  I'll call her Becky. I had very bad feelings from minute one with this girl.  She came in with a motive.  That year seemed to take a huge left turn the minute that family came to town.  I had a secure and growing bestieship with Ann that I cultivated and nurtured for 3 whole years.  She thought I was funny and I adored her too.  We were inseparable and would remain that way for many years to come.  But that year, Becky had ideas to take Ann as her very own.  It was very clear I was not to be part of this new union.  Clear to me but cloaked in fake niceness only around Ann.  The smile would drop instantly when out of vision.  Becky did everything she could to alienate me from my pal.  We were so young and I wasn't quite clear on all these new social weapons.  It bothered me deeply.  I started to doubt my foundation.  One day everything was strong and then it seemed to crumble overnight.  I had no idea how Ann could just abandon me so quickly.  They started to sit with each other on the bus, eat lunch together, hang out on the playground at recess.  I was definitely on the outs.
I tried to blame Ann but clearly she was swept off her feet by this adoring little twit that knew nothing about her by the way!  Anyone could see the insincerity if they could just view if from the back of the bus, like me.
Well one day Becky didn't show up for school and the days turned into a full week.  I had my chance to snatch back what was rightfully mine.  And I did.  It was a glorious five days of palsies.  Then, Becky returned to school with a vengeance.  Rumor spread very quickly that she had head lice.  Horrible thing, for a kid.  It fed into the stories of their home life and living conditions.  We were all poor (except Ann) but there were levels and the Whites were what they were calling 'trash' around school.  I never understood it back then but I figured it must have something to do with being slutty and poor at the same time.
But Becky came with experience.  This was not her first rodeo.  I believe they moved around a lot.  It must have been difficult changing schools around the Midwest so much back then.  Coming in to a place where everyone is so settled like sand at the bottom of a lake.  Something about me being content, sent her into a rage.   In fact she seemed so very bothered by any happiness I expressed that it often slapped the smile right off my face if I caught her stare.   Upon her return, to deflect her own growing bad press, she came up with a story to say yes, she did in fact have head lice. Wow, super brave I thought.  And then she went on.  Her doctor told her that she had been infested by a.... and I'm dead serious.....a Spic.  Yes, a real live doctor had told her it was indeed a female mind you Spic that was the real origin of this nastier than gross head condition.  I believe she included 'from her class'.  And just like that Becky became the victim.  Innocent and almost worthy of sympathy.  She Trumped me.  I stood silent and in total disbelief and astonishment for what seemed like the rest of the day alone in that school hallway.   My memory curtain closed until many months later.  To my recollection all of my class turned against me but my focus was Ann and she was wavering hard.  I could tell in the deepest part of her 9 year old heart, she probably didn't buy any of this but group pressure was too strong and she buckled.  The fact that I didn't even or ever have lice didn't occur to anyone.  For weeks no one came too close to me, now branded the girl with head lice.  And we all learned a new word. Spic.
I was mortified.  I broke down and went home and told my mom all the happenings, knowing she would have the right words.  She would fix this shit but good, really mom this son of bitch for me.  And you know what she told me?  'Well, that's interesting because if she knew anything about anything, a spic is a Puerto Rican, not a Mexican".   And then my mom and dad went into deep conversation, their voices slowly drifting off in my mind.  They preceded to take all the immigrant races and stack them like Jango in their civil pecking order, arguing who was worse.   Wait. What?  This was my ammunition?!  I was so turned around by her answer.  But she was so strong and satisfied with her delivery, apparently most insulted by the racial flub that she missed the whole dern nightmare point that I was socially murdered.  But my mom is like a wise Indian sage. I didn't question her advice.  She had spoken.  So I took her words to bed with me that night and begged God to take me as I often did, in my sleep.
I don't remember when but fairly soon after, the lice story died down and the White family moved on.  I think any thinking kid in school knew it wasn't me and the ones that did were now duly noted in my mind forever.  Ann and I regained our Bestie status and life became normal again.  But I would be changed. I had been to war.  I had my first battle decoration.  The world had become socially complex.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

I Took A Ride, Didn't Know What I Would Find There

Road Trip!  The week before it seems impossible that you can actually leave the city in a car and within an hour or less be in an entirely different environment.  But with some simple planning, it can happen.  And happen it did.  A road trip to see a drive-in double feature in a small town called Warwick.  I took the opportunity to plan a little hike in some sort of natural setting, a State Park I found nearby where other people have apparently made it out alive and no doubt the paths would be clearly marked.  Actually, I counted on an amateur 1 to 2 hour jaunt that we'd laugh about later saying how easy it was and how some city dwellers probably think that's what a real hike is about.   
A Brooklyn McDonald's Egg McMuffin to christen the cute rental car.  Large coffees and we're on the open road!
Leaving the city always makes me appreciate just how incredible it is. This cram-packed gorgeous, horrible, dirty, yet completely unaffordable monster that exists with all of these nooks and crannys.  Huge sections of livelihood that thrive and breathe completely independent yet connected on this one tiny island.

Tons of new construction on the West Side highway that will most likely house more corruption and greed but driving quickly past feels more like a sweet art installation to dream upon. 
Nothing matters because we're getting out!  I can see the bluffs just on the other side of the George Washington bridge, the portal to the other side.  
 And we make it!  It's early morning.  I have a side plan to stop at a small lake and go swimming but it's super early, not that warm and I mistakenly read that the goose tend to poop all over the beach and that is enough to sway me away.  I take some photos and off we go.

Sterling Forest State Park.  We go into the information center and get the hike trail map and assurance.  I picked the one around the lake.  I thought I saw an eye roll of disapproval upon our approach from the lady working the desk.  Maybe she saw versions of us, each week coming for some slice of non-city earth...that lasted about two hours before we raced back to gotham. In hindsight I think she purposely didn't warn us that this loop around the lake would result in 4 or more hours of our time and it was not for the weak.  Something it might have been kind to mention, had she been a sweet more thoughtful park guide. I had on a cute cotton hippy bedazzled halter top and earrings, short shorts.  All sure fire signs I was not real hike ready.
The first 20 minutes on the trail and we were both exhausted and felt we clearly mismanaged this excursion. P didn't even want to take a backpack.  But I had fears of getting lost so I filled with water, bars and nuts, camera, binoculars, moist towelettes, cell phones and mosquito repellent.   And besides, we came to get our asses kicked a little.  We came to feel something.  We needed to free our minds of the city as well as our bodies.  The trail was hilly and rocky and that lake was about ten times the size I imagined.  It was invigorating and once we knew it was too late to turn back, I had new worries. Like trying to carry P out of there should he stumble and break an ankle.  Or what happens if we lose the trail and never find civilization again, which was a real scare at the end but it worked out.  But not before I was on the edge of a full anxiety attack. 
But midpoint, that view was so still and breathtaking.  The definition of tranquil.  No one was on the trail outside of one lone man, who we both silently worried was a serial killer and walked quickly by both acting as though this was an everyday occurrence to see a man alone in the woods standing sideways looking at the ground.  My heart didn't stop racing until I imagined at least five ways I could defend myself if he should race at us with a machete.

This certainly was somewhere else.  Outside in 3D.  Outside in a way that almost felt unrecognizable.  Does this really still exist?  And for no one to be here mid August was pure gravy. Dreamy gravy.
But like modern day assholes we took it in quickly and moved on.  The adrenaline got us all chatty and we were going on about everything under the sun, plans, memories, how long this fucking trail turned out to be. We laughed about how long we've been walking together on this life path.  Almost to the end, we started to relax, enough to lose that path on the final descent.  We found a road that looked the exact same either way you looked and P wandered to find the entrance.  As he got smaller and smaller I yelled to come back, which he ignored and then I realized he had the bag with all our phones, water, and keys.  The quiet and solitude suddenly became a horror movie where P never makes it back and darkness sets in.
I ran to catch up right before he was completely out of site.  He found the entrance and waved me to safety. The advanced State Park expedition ride was now complete.
As a sweet reward I found a cute place called Taco Hombre and it turned out to be organic with the freshest most vibrant tacos and bless them, they served tamales!  About 20 hipsters working the front counter and one lone Mexican guy in the back that came out I think to see who ordered the tamales in this tiny town.  I imagine he prides himself on them and they were absolutely delicious. We ate like lions and felt good about it. Hours of moving body parts, fresh air, a near death experience and now back to relax at the cool hotel before dusk.

The drive-in was magical, we even had a rainbow AND a full moon that night.
The snack bar food was somewhat sketchy but certainly edible.

The next morning driving back to the city you're struck with so much stimulus. 
Enough to make you feel that wild animal yearning, clawing at your soul.  Reminding you, that's who we really are and meant to be. Free and wild.